14 Months

Yesterday marked the fourteenth month anniversary of the brutal beating at the hands (and feet) of Austin Vantrease and Jonathan May. The 7th of each month is always especially difficult for me, even though I know it’s coming. 

It’s like standing between the rails with a locomotive bearing down.  This train is always on time. “All aboard for the 7-train. This is the final boarding call. Please stow away all hope in the overhead compartment. This is a one-way, non-stop express train to Despair”. First I feel the vibration, then see headlight, then hear the engine noise. All I need to do is move off the tracks! Just one simple side-step and the train will safely pass. Hell, how much warning do I need? Yet, I don’t move. I’m too angry. Too scared. Too foolish. Too proud. I stand there playing an insane game of chicken knowing the only possible outcome. I close my eyes, hold my breath, and brace for the inevitable explosion of pain.

Each month I vow to handle the day better. Each month I fail. Why do I make empty promises to myself?


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12 Responses to 14 Months

  1. Susanne says:

    You’re still on track, Ken! Your passenger is still on board and the train is filled with your supporters who bought tickets Day 1 for your destination. We’re riding the rails along with your family. There have been detours, delays, and full steam ahead. No matter what happens along the way, know that your crew is strong and we will continue to pray for health and healing. The number 7 is a reminder, too, of God’s message about forgiveness. Seventy times seven. It may take years for the emotions that surround the number 7 to become less significant, but God’s time is endless. The pain your family has suffered is incomprehendable. Keep your eyes on the Conductor and look at the cars full of hope, peace, love, trailing behind you. In the message of The Little Engine…..I think I can, I think I can, I think I can! You CAN have a great day!

  2. Keith in Morgantown says:

    I Agree with Susanne this train that your on all the supporters for Ryan and Your family is on it also. There Praying and Holding onto claiming Gods Miracle that Hes gonna show us. You seem like a strong person so Hold Onto Gods Grace and He will get you through this! I know there has to be days that you go through that makes you feel that you can’t make it through but Just Know All the Prayers going Your Way.

  3. Will says:

    We are standing there with you. All of us. Along with your son. We all have hope. We cannot abandon it.

  4. Carla Liberty says:

    “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:20. We are here, we will not abandon, and God is here too. Susanne’s post above was so poignant and so true. God bless her, you, Ryan, Kari & Sue. Stay strong, you got this!

    • Cass says:

      Well, dear sweet Carla, when God is for us, who can be against us? What an honor to pray with such awesome people like you. We love you, Ryan!

  5. Paula Yocom says:

    Ken, all we can do is lock arms and push through the fire together. They (Vantrease et al) are not going to defeat us. For Ryan’s sake, all of us are going to rise each time we fall, and through the grace of God, we are going to get through this. Your description of your feelings and pain is — well, it’s — perfect. Would that I could take your family’s hurt away. Maybe you “fail” at blockading or somehow circumventing the pain, but as it turns out, you have made your pain your power. Power for Ryan, and power for justice. Hang in there, and we’re going to hang in there with you.

    Divineys are made of the right stuff!!!!!!!

    –Hey Vantrease, you can go and tell *that* homeboy–

  6. A Cup of Tea says:

    I think there is insight in your own words: “Each month I vow to do better”. Those are words of hope. You are looking forward. And one day, on the 7th, something will be different. Maybe something big, maybe something small, but different. And you will find yourself on the way to a new destination. The pain, the grief, the anger, the fear, the sense of loss you are experiencing is part of the ride for now. No fun, but the reality. One day at a time for Ryan, for you, for your wife and your daughter. One day at a time. You are very strong and I hope you can remind yourself of that. Fear, sorrow, sadness, anger, hurt can not diminish your strength. You prove that every day.

  7. I have never thought of the train analogy throughout my life with my son Thomas. Maybe look at the 7th as a celebration that Ryan is still with you- made it another month, another year. My Thomas was born disabled- I know that it is a different scenario, but his birthday always brings me mixed feelings. BUT it has been 14 years and he is still with us.

  8. alecia says:

    Ken, working each day with people who have exeprienced different types of loss has shown me that the greiving process isn’t easy, and most of all it really sucks. As a social worker, I can understand your pain…..as a parent myself, i’ll can’t imagine that feeling of despair you and your family are going through. All I know is what you are feeling is very normal considering the nature of the attack and what they took away from you. I hope each day gets easier for you all and I pray for you all daily.

  9. Anna says:

    Ken, Why do you assume you fail each month?? I don’t see that.

  10. Cass says:

    As Paul wrote in Philippians 4:13, ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ Ken, you and Ryan CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens you. I’m telling you, each and every time you get back up after being run down, you are stronger and stronger and stronger. And one day, Ryan is going to fully wake up, look at you, and say as clear as day, “Dad, we made it.’ That is my prayer for you.

  11. Alease Kidd says:

    Work Like it all depends on you….
    Pray like it all depends on God!

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